Tag Archives: philosophy

The Cosmic Improv Group initiates Dr. Kathorkian’s Robber Baron Knitting School*

Humor/satire:  Cosmic Improv Group Series

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by Dr. Kathorkian
an alter ego of katharineotto.planetearth.ind
and katharineotto.wordpress.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 – In the Cosmic Commune everyone is just plain folks, so it isn’t unusual for John D. Rockefeller or JP Morgan, Sr. to visit, even though they remain uncomfortable in a place where everyone ignores their pretensions.  People laugh at JP’s temper tantrums, and servants poof out of his employ when he throws food at them.

JP Morgan appreciates my willingness to be seen in public with him, because I am so civilized.  He wants to learn how to knit.

Really?  Go buy your own knitting needles, yarn, book, and other paraphernalia, and I’ll begin to believe you’re serious.

He says he’ll do better than that.  He’ll find a group of investors to buy a knitting needle manufacturer, a couple of sheep farms, and a publishing house.  He’ll get them to buy up all the cotton farms, too, so we can make more cotton yarn.

I say thanks, anyway.  Just learn how to knit, first, and maybe you’ll know something about the businesses you’re investing other people’s money in.

I can hear JD Rockefeller chuckling on the other side of the honeysuckle hedge.  I even get a partial smile from JP, and the hint of a twinkle in his eye.  Andy Carnegie says nothing, but I can feel his intense energy and interest.  He’s seeing a market for steel knitting needles.  JD, of course, sees a future in plastic knitting needles and acrylic, but I tell him up front that plastic and acrylic are low-yield investments for knitters.  I know he wants to sell cheap petroleum products, because no one can afford to drive, but give this knitter natural fibers and metal needles, and you can sell your transparent petroleum scam elsewhere.  Individuals need gas for power tools and other tools of survival, tools they can afford without going into debt.

JP becomes upset when I say this, but I tell him to stuff it.  Debt is what got us into this mess, and it’s your fault.  People can’t be free if they are in debt.  If you’re not free, you can’t have a democracy.

He threatens to leave.  I tell him that’s fine, but I’m not invalidating his job or career.  Banks still have a role to play in the Cosmic Commune, but banks need to reestablish their own credit and credibility.  By helping people learn how to manage money and get out of debt, both banks and taxpayers prosper.  You don’t get value for money with promises, whether from bank notes, insurance, or government, so don’t take it personally.  I’m a “pay as I go” kind of person, as I am immortal and a very lazy, selfish soul who enjoys freedom.

A financial debt is a karmic debt that must be paid sooner or later.  If I pay up front, I keep the books balanced at all times, unless I am tricked or otherwise maneuvered into untenable positions.

Cut losses, say I.  Whoever obtains money from me under false pretenses has his own karmic debt to pay.  Cutting losses buys my freedom from dishonesty.

So, I tell JP he looks good if he comes clean, to a certain extent, and recognizes that a debt-backed currency steals from the present to invest in an unpredictable future.  JP appears to take this in.  He doesn’t respond.  I go back to work.

After awhile, he looks up and asks me to show him how to knit.  I demonstrate the moss stitch, saying the knit and purl stitches are the foundation for all knitting patterns.  The technique is easy, but the strings of possibilities extend in all directions.

He asks if he can try, and I hand him my work. He makes clumsy efforts, drops a needle, then begins to get upset because stitches fall off, and yarn is getting tangled around his feet.

I tell him to sit still.  “Do not move,” I say.  “I’ll rescue my knitting and you in the process.”

So I grab the work before he loses too many stitches, untangle the yarn, and stow it all away for repair later.

I hear Andy chuckling, and even JD has risen and come around the honeysuckle hedge, grinning, to watch JP knit.  JP looks sheepish, but he is also puffing up his chest, as if he has accomplished something significant.

“It takes as much skill to be a good knitter as banker,” I tell him.  “A good banker can’t afford to lose credibility with his customers, because credit is his product line, just as knitters make socks.”

JP lights a cigar, and I poof up some wind to blow smoke away from the table and us.  I make it a light breeze, just enough to rustle leaves on the plants a little, to help them sing.

All three Robber Barons look astounded.  I don’t make a big deal out of asking the wind for help, but they glance at each other and me and begin to wonder what besides knitting I can teach them.

They also begin plotting how they can control the wind for profit.  I see them operating in boardrooms and Congress to build huge wind turbines, manipulating public resources with their misguided motives.

“You don’t control the wind,” I tell them.  “The wind is free.”  I say it will go where it will.  It only does your bidding if you approach it respectfully and in a cooperative spirit.  Ask the leaves on the trees to intercede, better to energize them into a flutter and explore their greater environments.

JP’s eyes begin to glaze over, and I realize I’ve said enough.

Fast forward to next day, and all three Robber Barons have bought expensive knitting needles, yarn – gold yarn by JP – and pattern books galore.  Andy wants to knit an Irish sweater, with complicated cables, and Scottish wool.  JP wants to make a vest out of gold thread.  JD wants a bright red crew neck sweater, simple but big, but he’s having trouble deciding between that and a pair of argyle socks.

While out shopping, they also bought a few knitting stores, textile manufacturers, farms, and other knitting tools.  Andy bought another shipping line.

The knitters are hot to trot, vying with each other to dominate knitting.  I try not to show my amusement, because so far, not one of them knows how to cast on the first stitch.

Meanwhile, they have brought so much stuff to the table that there’s no room to spread out, so I poof us a larger table and conjure up a coffee stand for me, to avoid spilling my coffee and damaging their stuff.

I suggest they start by knitting a swatch, and I try to show them how to cast on.  Andy catches on quicker than the others, because he grew up working with his hands and has more manual dexterity.

JD, who has now joined the table, sits next to JP.  Both have large hands and are clumsy, but JD manages to cast on 20 stitches first, then starts jostling JP’s elbow. This makes JP drop a needle and lose more stitches.  He explodes in rage and tosses everything on the ground.

By now we’ve drawn a crowd, and everyone starts to twitter and point fingers.  JP blushes and poofs himself away, leaving his assets behind.

*Inspired by The Robber Barons, Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

 

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Dr. Jekyll visits Bethesda

Here’s How 061416: “Value Added Packaging”

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I consider it a triumph when I can extend the life of packaging beyond a single use. To add value to packaging sometimes requires as little as soaking labels off jars or cutting the flaps off a box.  Then I can re-label as needed, using masking tape and a felt pen.

This photo shows some of the uses I’ve found. Jars, preferably those with metal tops, work for everything from keeping mice out of chicken food (and pantry supplies) to serving as storage containers for my dried herbs.  Claussen pickle jar, chutney jar, and preserves jar shown.  The preserves jar holds my chocolate chip/dinner mint/nut snack food.  The tall jar is a re-purposed red wine vinegar jar that serves as a pen dispenser.  It dispenses one pen at a time.  The plastic topped jars that I’ve converted into “Supreme Court Balls Starter Kits” held Publix natural peanut butter (crunchy).

The “Supreme Court Balls Starter Kits” were an inspiration following the infamous 5-4 “Kelo” (eminent domain) decision of 2005. This land grab by Pfizer pharmaceuticals, acting through the New London, Connecticut City Council, invalidated property rights for individuals when a higher bidder comes along.  Subsequent events by all levels of government have proved they are quick to eminent domain property whenever it suits their financial interests.  The jars pictured here hold coins.  One is full of pennies, $6.80 when filled to the brim.  The pennies weigh 2.025 kilos or 4.45 pounds.  The jar holds 400 ml or 1.75 cups of water.  It is 12.7 cm (5 inches) high and 24.75 cm (9.75 inches) in circumference.  So this jar is also a teaching tool for metrics.  It also highlights my belief that saving spare change in jars is a good hedge against bank failure, since they can’t be hijacked by a keystroke, they retain metal value, are hard to steal, and don’t burn up in a fire.

I imagine the “Supreme Court Balls Starter Kits” and the accompanying “Supreme Court Balls Designer Labels” will be worth a lot of money when people wise up to what the Supreme Court has done to individual property rights.

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The metal spice container is now a salt shaker that allows me to add uncooked rice in the large middle opening and shake the salt out of the shaker opening. This is necessary in the humid South, because rice alone does not keep the shaker holes from getting clogged.  For this, it is necessary to close the top.

The yogurt containers (or any dairy container, such as those for sour cream) are useful for cooked food or to freeze cooked food. They are also great for giveaway food.  This maneuver serves the dual purpose of adding food value to used containers and getting rid of the packaging without having to throw it away.  Note the mouse-damaged plastic top that prompted me to transfer chicken food from yogurt container to glass jar.

The home-made pesto is in a re-purposed cake icing container.

Old spice jars are also good for storing small items, like hooks and screws. Film containers (for those of us who still use film cameras) store things like razor blades and small screws.

Then there’s the grocery store produce bag, which can keep whole bowls of food fresh in the refrigerator. This one is protecting grated cheese.

Old shoe boxes make great storage containers for CDs and photographs. Any de-flapped box becomes a great, lightweight tool for organizing and storing clutter.  I use them as trash cans, too.

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Then, there’s the tool room, where old tin cans serve to organize my supplies of bolts, drill bits, and nuts. The plastic containers hold various screws, hooks, and assorted hardware, including replacement blades for the box cutter.

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Chicken food, wild bird seed, and deer corn bags become trash bags. They are sturdy enough to hold sharp objects, like broken glass, without puncturing.  Buckets like the one here that held joint compound are valuable enough by themselves to be sold at outlets like Home Depot.

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Finally, the water-filled milk containers between the mint and stevia plants are an experiment. The idea is to keep plants cool on the hot deck and to have spare water if the pump breaks or the power goes out.  I washed the jugs thoroughly and added 3 drops of chlorine bleach to the water, as we were taught to do during the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s.  The versatility of concrete blocks will be explored more thoroughly in a future blog about my inventions.

 

 

“We don’t intend to honor patents”

In my wildest dreams, I envision Fidel and Raul Castro refusing to honor foreign patents.  Think of it:  dream dirt, fertilized by oxen and horses since the USSR collapsed in 1991.  Cuba lost its oil source and its sugar market at the same time.  Cubans almost starved, so Fidel invested in the improvements necessary to life:  food and health care.  As a result, he has grown generations of healthy, self-sufficient individuals.

Because of ongoing US spitefulness, in the form of trade embargos, torturing operations, and general scapegoating, Cubans have been forced to remain stuck in time, before tools were made of plastic, before bulldozers and pavement planted thermals in over-heated cities.

Much to United States’ embarrassment, the Castro team has proved that Cuba can survive and prosper without US help.

Hahaha.  Well, if Cuba refused to honor foreign patents, Monsanto and Dow/Dupont’s stockholders would poop in their pants.  Patents are hot commodities, a bloodfest for lawyers, who win either way the FDA blows.  I’ve read that up to 80% of America’s corn is already mutated, so the time for labeling is long past.  Just assume it’s patented food until otherwise proven.

Cuba could then thumb its nose at the FDA, whose nose is up its ass.  (I know this because FDA recommendations stink.  I’m horrified at the succession of FDA-launched food scares, intentional panic-creation with too little or misleading information.)

Beware the patent industry, is all I gotta say to the Castros’ Communal Capitalists, who believe the product is its own patent.  Let the lawyers and government do the paperwork on their own time.

Also, don’t let them trap you into debt.  Eminent domain all foreign assets, including Guantanamo Bay, and especially assets held by corporations like Pfizer, Walmart, and McDonalds.  Use the reclaimed land to pay off any debt, then party with unpatented drugs, and drink to everyone’s health and wealth.

The more I think of it, the better it sounds.  As America drowns in its environmental toxins, it continues to churn out more of them, with no thought of tomorrow.  I think about the growing cesspool of “unintended consequences” now.  I also hate seeing deformed birds, strangled porpoises, and sickly babies that “progress” (downhill fast) is bleeding us to pay for.  Cuba is relatively plastic and packaging free, I hope, at least so far.  Let’s hope they can keep it that way.

Cuba:  A New History, by British journalist Richard Gott, was published in 2004.  I reviewed it on this blog 10/22/15.

In 2005, Harpers‘ published “The Cuba Diet: What will you be eating when the revolution comes?”, by Bill McKibben, April, 2005.  The following month, the ecologist came out with  “Cuba: Health Without Wealth,”  by Brendon Sainsbury, June, 2005.

 

Fortune Tellers on the Payroll

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I was reading the Wall Street Journal the other day, circling predictive and speculative words, and thinking about the term “Know thine enemy.”  I wondered where it originated so Googled it to find it attributed to Chinese warrior Sun Tzu, in his classic work, The Art of War.   The translator of my copy, R. L. Wing, chose to translate the Chinese word “bing” as “strategy” instead of “war.”  He claims in the translation’s notes that he believes this choice is “most faithful to Sun Tzu’s intended objective:  the achievement of triumph through tactical positioning, without resorting to battle.”

 

Wing says it is not clear when Sun Tzu lived, but the work is now believed to have been written between 480 and 221 B.C., during the so-called “Warring States” period.  During that time, more than 300 wars were fought between the separate states of China against the Chou dynasty.

A conflict-avoidant coward like me would rather win than fight, so Sun Tzu’s philosophy speaks to me.  Especially now, when it fights rage all around, and I’m caught in the cross-fire, I keep tabs on those addicted to fighting, if only to stay out of their way.

So The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and their ilk educate me about how the fortune tellers on the payroll subtly manipulate their readership through prognostication.  The addiction to prediction has become so entrenched that I had to start circling predictive and speculative words in news articles to grasp how prevalent it is.  Don’t take my word for it.  Just take note of words like “expects,” “will,” “ won’t,” “if,” “could,” “possibility,” “predicts,” “forecasts,” “thinks,” “believes,” and “suggests,” to name a few.

Predictions are dangerous, especially when they come from authority figures, who should know better.  They include economists, world leaders, government, doctors, “climate scientists,” and, of course, meteorologists.  Those making the predictions have a vested interest in being right, so contribute to the outcomes they expect.  Negative predictions, such as those coming from doctors, put binders on the future, like casting a spell on a vulnerable patient. Global predictions, about “the global economy,” or “climate change,” create unnecessary fear based on a few isolated and disconnected facts.  There is nothing scientific about predictions, no matter what the fortune tellers on the payroll say.

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The Cosmic Commune

Intellectual property of
katharineotto
* independent country of one  *
$ world’s only free market capitalist  $
(Updated, March, 2016)

The COSMIC IMPROV GROUP (CIG) lives in the COSMIC COMMUNE, which exists outside time and space but contains it all.  In the Cosmic Commune, everything is free, and money doesn’t exist. People and other life forms work because they like it.  Inhabitants of the Cosmic Commune come and go at will, catching my attention or imagination on the fly.  A few members offer their perspectives below:

coscomchar0316COCKROACH THINKING – Friday, January 12, 2007 – I feel like a cosmic secretary, the writer who is busy transcribing the Cosmic Improv Group’s take on humanity, like a cockroach, with antennae ever quivering, wanting nothing other than to feed off debris and live in peace, like it was before God decided we weren’t entertaining enough by ourselves.
So She invented people a couple of minutes ago – by the way cockroaches measure time. People have this attitude that they are better than cockroaches, so they poison themselves thinking they’re beating back the insects, not realizing they are indirectly increasing insect food supply.
Do I claim special powers for reading an insect’s mind, or the mass mind of the insect population?
No. I claim common sense. Who is most susceptible to these poisons – especially in the long term? If you poison the ecosystem from the ground up, you will suffer a slow, agonizing, death.

COMMUNISTIC CAPITALISM – Sunday, February 11, 2007 – I am the ultimate communist in the communal sense, a true capitalist, in the individual one. Shared resources go further and spread responsibility. Private resources, earned and maintained, grow in direct proportion to the individual’s personal investment.
Capitalists with a communistic spirit understand voluntary community involvement keeps taxes low and government within boundaries. In true communistic capitalism, public and private balance out such that each supports the other without taxing anyone unfairly.

fungusdb0107DEAD BODY FUNGUS
Friday, January 19, 2007 – Day before yesterday, just before it rained, I took pictures and dug up some extraterrestrial-looking fungi that smelled like decomposing flesh.     Hauled in with some of the wood chips from a tree trimming job, these loopy cage-like structures were up to 10 cm (four inches) high.
The four orange arms were spongy and fell apart to the touch. They were joined at the top to house an inner sanctum of oozy black and white jelly.
They smelled like dead animals rotting. The stench carries a long way, so it took awhile to find the source. I dug up about 25 liters (seven gallons) of the things, along with their unhatched, subterranean eggs. Yes, their unsprouted pods look like soft, mushy eggs, gel-like, maybe a turtle’s egg. They were repulsive, though interesting. I dumped them in the river, vaguely wondering if I were poisoning it.
I looked for references in various books but saw nothing like them. I wondered if they are mutants. They are the same color as the plastic tree marker tags used in timbering. (Later found them in the National Audobon Society’s Field Guide to Mushrooms. They are “Columned Stinkhorns, “Clathrus columnatus”.)
Maybe they are derived from plastic breakdown products, think I. Maybe all these plastic breakdown products and other environmental toxins have created a food supply for mutant life forms and works of art like this. Born of landfill, looks like landfill, smells like landfill, feeds off landfill?
In our minute human existence, as science explains it, and our dominant role, as religion explains it, we have only lasted longer than the mutant life forms we are creating. Does this mean we are the culmination of life, God’s glowing masterpiece, her raison d’etre, her creative life work?
If so, God is suicidal. The poisons accumulating in the air, water, and earth provide a much greater threat than the so-called “greenhouse gases,” the hot air exhaled and farted out by political scientists.

LIZARDO – Saturday, January 6, 2007 – A young lizard, only about 10 cm long, has showed himself on my deck railing over the past few months. Lizardo just greeted me briefly and now has disappeared vertically.
Lizards take crawling on vertical planes for granted, as if it were normal. There he is again, facing downward about a meter, with no apparent fear of falling ten times the distance of his length. For a human, this would be fatal, or at least damaging, but not for a lizard.
So what’s so smart about human beings if they can’t do things that are easy for lizards and birds? Humans probably learned from birds that flying is possible. And insects. And they learned from fish, maybe, that you can swim.

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WIND AND THE COSMIC IMPROV GROUP – Thursday, February 1, 2007 – The wind has started, signifying qi movement, unblocking my imagination. It makes me jittery and insecure, unsure where the wind will take me.
The Cosmic Improv Group speaks through the wind. “Relax,” it whispers. “The qi is restless and moving. You are being swept in the winds of the moment, and you need do nothing except allow yourself to flow with it. You are fine, but for your own uneasiness. We will not allow you to fail.”
Wanna bet? is my first thought. We’ll see about that.
This gives everyone a chuckle.
“This isn’t about you,” says the ever-so-practical CIG. “This is about the larger plan. No matter what you do, you are part of it. How you do it is up to you.”
I’ve been thinking of the peace the Americas knew before the Europeans arrived. The North American Indians touched the soil lightly, leaving few traces. They left fewer monuments behind, perhaps a sign of the greater tribute they paid to nature. The Europeans thought them savages, yet history has proved the opposite. The most peaceful and honest people are the most gullible, so are easily tricked and exploited.
I don’t know why. Because it appears to work, from the warring and slaving point of view? The bullies and cons who believe they win by treating others so cruelly? Reading Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and Cuba:  A New History have deepened my questions and profoundly disturbed my beliefs about religion and the atrocities committed in its name.
The promises of later rewards prevent balancing today’s books, but the accumulated debt from centuries of religious persecution weighs heavily now.
Do people get their just deserts when they pass on? What might those be?
This is a non-issue for me. Behavior in the present predicts future behavior, unless something changes it. If you don’t practice your beliefs in the present, how can you know what you truly believe?

UNIFIED FIELD THEORY – Tuesday, February 13, 2007 – The dark, plutonian forces are mere pawns in my hands, in the strategy of life.
Why? I believe in qi, that’s why. Life force, the great, universal energy field that Einstein couldn’t fathom, because he took life for granted.
The great organizing energy force – life – defies entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. Modern science assumes that matter and consciousness are separate, merely because man does not speak the language of matter, or of animals, or of other manifestations of the divine.
To assume that consciousness is based on size or presumed status in the cosmos is merely man’s hubris at work. The Cosmos will live on; man has a choice.

INTERNET – Wednesday, July 4, 2007 – The internet may be the most freeing concept to come along in quite a while, maybe leading to a real democracy. I believe this is the secret fear of the control freaks, who are terrified of the technology that has grown beyond their control. Poor Bill Gates.
I am a witch doctor, self-immolating at the stake, lighting my own fire, using the rubbish under my feet to fuel a revolution in consciousness that proves victory over death.
Let’s all burn together, shall we? If I go up in flames, I’ll take you with me, and we’ll see how you flare in the great beyond. It’s not so bad, once you rise above the smoke and ashes.
If my job in life is to wake people up, as it seems to be, I will use the tools at my disposal to accomplish the task.  By pondering later, and by writing in my journal, I reinforce the lessons learned in day-to-day routine. Those with high emotional valence hover in my aura, and I use the energy to reinforce the message on etheric planes.
Since science refuses to recognize the validity of this technique, it puts me at an advantage, and I can communicate with higher selves beyond limiting beliefs. Thus do I communicate with the higher selves of people whose lower selves dominate the daily news.
We all are good guys, according to Seth (of Jane Roberts’ “Seth” series), and I believe it. I always have felt kindly towards mankind, who is doing the best he can, despite appearances. Seth simply reinforces my inner knowing. It’s hard to find people, these days, who admit to man’s good intent. The “us vs. them” mentality predominates. The nation’s spokespeople talk about conflict versus compromise, but nobody mentions cooperation.

 

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TV AND LOUD BAD MUSIC  – Monday, March 26, 2007 – I spoke with the cashier at Piggly Wiggly, and asked if anyone complains about the loud bad music and insulting ads for the Pig. No, she says. Is it too loud?
I’m leaving, I say, but you have to listen to it all day. I mention TV as mind pollution that manipulates people by their fears and insecurities. I don’t have a television, I say. I’m a reader. She seems amazed I don’t have a TV.
Smart lady, she comments, when I say I read. Trying to get smarter every day, I reply, or so I remember it.
Karl Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. Now TV is the opiate, and people are dulled by it into a stupor of style over substance that blocks inner wisdom.

LIFE PHILOSOPHY – Sunday, June 10, 2007 – How have things come so far? I wonder at the progression through the centuries of virtues gone sour. Literature reeks of the lonely and bored, the violent, thieving, misguided, downtrodden. Even the moneyed are miserable. Happiness is illusion, and those who get a glimpse of it are quickly punished.
How strange, think I. Everyone uses the right words, and for a long time, I believed them. I have taken lots of heat for my unwillingness to compromise on principle. It makes me suspect and dangerous, a threat to be ignored when possible, trounced when necessary. People treat me with studied indifference, if they notice at all.
I try to reconcile my observations with Seth’s teachings. He speaks my beliefs and carries them further, a refreshing oasis in the emotional desert that my life has become.
You create your own reality, he says, and the universe is cooperative. Humanity has a spiritual problem, he says.
We are burning in the fires of hell, I claim, resigned to the idea that it will only get worse, thus creating the future we fear, so invested are we in being right. I feel like an alien among humans, more attuned to the animals and plants than people.
Animal wisdom consists of the innocent amorality man has forgotten. Man funnels god through religion, not recognizing true religion is merely applied common sense. People are more likely to be nice to you if you are nice to them, honest if you are honest, kind if you are kind. At least that’s the theory, but lately I’ve doubted that. Lately, it seems these are invitations for abuse, and it has made me insecure and afraid. Thus am I becoming more withdrawn, self-contained, and reclusive.
The Cosmic Improv Group tells me it’s okay. It provides balance, an opportunity to recharge my spiritual batteries, by giving of myself where it’s appreciated, watering plants, feeding birds, hugging my cat.

BUBBLES GO UP – Wednesday, July 4, 2007 – Seth makes an interesting comment about belief systems involving the sexes. He says women represent humanity’s creative, intuitive side. I believe this is the message of the Garden of Eden story: humanity’s awareness of itself and its creative ability. The fear of consciousness has led people to sap women’s strength through childbirth.
And along comes lil ole me. If you think a man is going to save you from yourselves, ladies, you have another think coming. Look at what men have done so far, and tell me if you want more of the same.
Don’t blame the men, because mothers raised them to disrespect women. No one is exempt from the groupthink, the mindless polarization that has tilted the planet so far off balance.
Edgar Cayce referred to a polar axis shift, a reversal of north to south, perhaps, but it’s not clear. What would that mean, if the lines of magnetic force were reversed? Would it turn our thinking upside down? We do have iron in our red blood cells, after all.
If the magnetic poles were reversed, who would know it first? Maybe this is why highway signs and directions are so confused. Nobody knows which way is up.
Like being in deep water, you only know by watching the bubbles.

budsleep0395BUD THE AWAKENER – Wednesday, July 4, 2007 – I sometimes fantasize that I am destined to be The Awakener. Pretty funny, that, as I sit eating chocolate chips and walnuts, drinking coffee, writing whatever comes to mind.
Hahahahaha, think I. What a joke. Me the Awakener? My cat, maybe. He wakes me up, did this morning. Then he goes back to sleep and sleeps all day.
The Awakener by delegated authority? “You do it,” he implies by his attitude. “I’ll lie here on the ledge, semi-conscious, and wish you luck. You’ll need it.”
Little white angel that he is. An angel of punk, pierced ear and all. The punk angel, disguised as a cat, mute, directs by mind melding, without flicking a whisker. Open my window, he says without saying. Feed me. Play with me. Love me. You’re doing better. Keep up the good work. Clean the gunk out of my eyes, but do it gently, or I’ll hurt you.
Even angels in bodies can feel pain, and fear, so don’t rush me. Physical bodies are sensate, better to materialize beliefs and their consequences. Feel your pain. Heal your pain by changing your beliefs, your actions, or both.
Mental and physical pain go together. Anyone who has a neck has a mind-body connection.

 

The Game of Life

games0807Life is a game. The purpose is to have fun. Part of the fun is learning the rules, and to distinguish between Real Rules and Fake Rules. Real rules make sense, but fake rules don’t, even if the Powers That Be insist that They Are Right. If the fake rules go against your version of real rules, you feel trapped by mutually exclusive rules.

This is one of the game’s challenges. You win by learning to navigate the real rules while avoiding or destroying the fake ones. As you expose the lies, you discover there are few real rules. These promote individuality, originality, and creativity, for yourself and others, if you’re playing the game right.

This is a game everyone can win, because you don’t compete with other players. In fact, one of the real rules promotes cooperation with others, but finding common ground is another challenge in the game of life.

There are easy challenges and hard challenges. The real rules apply to both. Only you can judge how hard they are, or whether and how you meet them, and only you can determine whether you win or lose the game of life.

The fake rules may tell you that you are losing when you are winning, or winning when you’re losing. You must learn the difference between winning and losing under the real rules. Although others can guide, instruct, help, encourage, or hinder, they are playing by their rules, and they are also learning the difference between real and fake rules.

The real rules, when applied, work for everyone. The fake rules work only for a few and for a limited time.

Sometimes fake rules fool everyone into believing they are real rules, but over time their deceptive nature shows. If you can penetrate the illusions to discover and apply the real rules, you win points in the game of life.

Sell the TV and Read

If I am opinionated, these are my teachers.

If I am opinionated, these are my teachers.

katharineotto’s recommended reading so far

October 10, 2015–CURRENT READFDR, Jean Edward Smith, 2007

Independent Study of Literature, History, Culture, Medicine, Economics, Politics, and Philosophy
As of October, 2015

History, Economics, and Politics

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson and committee

United States Constitution, ratified in 1788-1790 by 13 states. Many authors.

The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 1776

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, 1771-1790

The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Washington: The Indispensible Man, James Thomas Flexner, 1969, 1973, 1974

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow, 2004

Thomas Jefferson: A Life, William Sterne Randall, 1993

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an

Unnecessary War, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2002, 2003

A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, Howard Zinn, 1980-2003

The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve,

G. Edward Griffin, 1994-2007 (realityzone.com)

The Robber Barons, Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, 2004

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, A collection of essays by Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan,

Nathaniel Branden, and Robert Hessen, 1946-1967

Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman, 1962, 1982, and 2002

Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis,

William Bonner and Addison Wiggin, 2006

None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Gary Allen, with Larry Abraham, 1971

A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America’s Destiny, Patrick J. Buchanan, 1999

Why Government Doesn’t Work, Harry Browne, 1995

The Fair Tax Book, Neal Boortz and US Rep John Linder (R-GA) (Not.)

Supercapitalism, Robert B. Reich, 2007

The Waste Makers, Vance Packard, 1960

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Jimmy Carter, 2006

Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas, Ken Foskett, 2004

The Water Lords: Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on Industry and

Environmental Crisis in Savannah, Georgia, James M. Fallows, 1971

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, Susan Freinkel, 2011

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,

Eduardo Galeano, 1973, 1997

Cuba: A New History, Richard Gott, 2004

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Jung Chang, 1991

The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli, written 1513, published 1532

Medicine

Overdo$ed America, John Abramson, MD, 2004

The Truth About the Drug Companies: How they Deceive Us and What to Do About It,

Marcia Angell, MD, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of

Medicine, 2004, 2005

Philosophy and Memoirs

My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell, 1956

Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank. B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, 1948, 2002

Tales From the Time Loop, David Icke, 2003

Rats, Lice and History: The Biography of a Bacillus, A Bacteriologist’s Classic Study of    a World Scourge, Hans Zinsser, 1934

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond, 2005

A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut, 2005

Walden, Henry David Thoreau, 1854

Fiction 

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1912

Life of Pi, Yann Martel, 2002

The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan, 1991

Empire Falls, Richard Russo, 2001

Moby Dick, Herman Melville, 1851

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, 1947

Uhuru, A Novel of Africa Today, Robert Ruark, 1962

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith, 1943

The Jungle, Upton Sinclair, 1906

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, 1937

The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1868-1869

1984, George Orwell, 1949

Animal Farm, George Orwell, 1946

Oil!, Upton Sinclair, 1926

All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren, 1946

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852

The Octopus, Frank Norris, 1901

The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck, 1931

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway, 1952

Remembrance Rock, Carl Sandburg, 1948

The Island of Dr. Moreau, HG Wells, 1896

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953

Paradigms

Flatland, A Romance of Many Dimensions, Edwin A. Abbott, 1884

Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl, 1959

The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra, 1975

The “Unknown” Reality, Jane Roberts (A Seth Book), 1979

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